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Josue De Paula, River Ryan lead 5 Dodgers in The Athletic top 100 prospects

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The latest national top prospect list was unveiled on Monday, with Keith Law at The Athletic releasing his top 100, a group that included five Dodgers.

Outfielder Josue De Paula led the list, checking in at No. 25 overall, his highest prospect ranking to date. He made two other top-100 lists, ranked 48th by Baseball Prospectus and 68th by ESPN, and was among the 15 players who just missed the Baseball America top 100.

The 18-year-old outfielder has already impressed in full-season ball, and Law was impressed.

“The main concern with him is that he’s a well below-average runner already at age 18, and has so much projection left to his body that he might grow himself right into first base,” Law wrote. “The combination of bat speed, selectivity, present power, and big physical projection could make him among the best hitters in baseball at his peak, and if so, whether it’s at first base or in an outfield corner won’t really matter.”

River Ryan made his first top-100 list of 2024, ranked 33rd overall by Law. Ryan also made the just-missed lists at Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, after impressing in his two years focusing only on pitching after a stint as a two-way player in college and in the Padres’ system.

Dodgers prospects in The Athletic top 100

Player Pos 2024 2023
Player Pos 2024 2023
Josue De Paula OF 25 NR
River Ryan RHP 33 NR
Dalton Rushing C 86 62
Gavin Stone RHP 95 39
Thayron Liranzo C 99 NR
Source: The Athletic

Ryan had a 3.80 ERA in 104⅓ innings last year mostly in Double-A Tulsa, plus a final two starts in Triple-A Oklahoma City, with 110 strikeouts and 46 walks. The 25-year-old isn’t yet on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, but with Nick Frasso out this season after shoulder surger in November, Ryan moved one spot up on the rotation depth chart.

“Ryan could be a No. 2 starter, and while I don’t think he’s ready for a major-league role just yet, he’s advanced so quickly he could easily make another big leap this spring and see Chavez Ravine before September,” Law said.

The two Dodgers on this year’s top-100 prospect list at The Athletic who were also on last year’s list are catcher Dalton Rushing and pitcher Gavin Stone. Stone was ranked 39th heading into 2023 but after struggling in his first taste of the majors is now ranked No. 95 by Law.

Rushing is ranked No. 86 by Law. The catcher is the only Dodgers prospect to be named to all top-100 lists this year by all of Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN, MLB Pipeline, and The Athletic. Rushing was ranked 62nd last year by Law with an astounding two-month debut after getting drafted.

Rushing had a low batting average but otherwise showed power and plate discipline, and hit .228/.404/.452 with a 146 wRC+ in a season that was interrupted by a concussion. Law expressed some concern with Rushing’s bat, at least compared to before 2023, noting, “some of the concerns from his college days that he had trouble hitting velocity popped back up last year — he didn’t see a ton of big velo, but struggled against it when he did.”

Another Dodgers catcher, Thayron Liranzo, was ranked 99th by Law. It’s the second top-100 list for Liranzo, the 20-year-old switch-hitter who led the California League in home runs last year and was also rated 70th by Baseball Prospectus.

Diego Cartaya, the Dodgers’ top prospect last year, was not ranked in Law’s top 100 at The Athletic, but the catcher was listed by Law as one of 10 prospects who just missed said list. Cartaya also made the 101-110 list at MLB Pipeline, as did Stone and pitcher Jackson Ferris, who was acquired from the Cubs in the Michael Busch trade on January 11.

In all, eight different Dodgers have been named to at least one top-100 prospect list this year, and six players were named to multiple lists.

Dodgers in 2024 top-100 prospect lists

Player Pos 2024 age 2023 high level BA BP ESPN FanGraphs MLB Athletic
Player Pos 2024 age 2023 high level BA BP ESPN FanGraphs MLB Athletic
Dalton Rushing C 23 High-A 50 36 75 60 75 86
Jose De Paula OF 19 Low-A 101-115 48 68 25
River Ryan RHP 25 Triple-A 101-115 102-111 102 19 33
Nick Frasso RHP 25 Triple-A 97 67 86 80
Thayron Liranzo C 20 Low-A 70 72 99
Diego Cartaya C 22 Double-A 85 68 101-110 101-110
Gavin Stone RHP 25 MLB 82 101-110 95
Andy Pages OF 23 Triple-A 96 87
Kyle Hurt RHP 26 MLB 86
Joendry Vargas SS 18 Dominican 106 92